The Bowling Green City Commission voted 3-2 Tuesday to approve on first reading a rezoning opposed by many area residents for a pharmacy on Russellville Road. A second and binding vote on the rezoning request is slated for the Oct. 1 city commission meeting.
Alaa Tlais plans to develop the 0.23-acre property at Whispering Hills and Russellville Road as an owner-operated pharmacy.
Several residents spoke Tuesday against the rezoning from townhouse/multifamily residential to general business. They were the same individuals who spoke against the plan at an August meeting of the City-County Planning Commission of Warren County.
At that meeting, a first vote on the rezoning request was deadlocked 5-5 before two commissioners changed their vote to pass it 7-3.
Area resident James Williams said Tuesday that traffic from the business would create a safety hazard on the already congested Russellville Road.
“Trying to get out is almost impossible on a work morning,” Williams said in a point echoed by three other speakers.
Wilson Wilkerham said he fears the business will fail and result in a vacant lot near his home, resulting in local home values dropping.
Tlais said the concept for the business includes one-way lanes onto the property from Russellville Road and an exit lane onto Whispering Hills to make the traffic flow as safe as possible.
In response to questions from commissioners, Tlais said the business would be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., that a pick-up window would not have an intercom in an effort to keep noise levels down and that a buffer with an eight-foot fence and plantings would separate the pharmacy from the adjoining property.
Commissioners Dana Beasley-Brown and Brian “Slim” Nash said they supported new local businesses but had concerns about the location adjacent to a residential neighborhood.
“My struggle is with this particular location” and the impact on the neighborhood, Beasley-Brown said.
“I do not believe what you are proposing is compatible” with the residential area, said Nash, who formerly lived in the neighborhood.
Commissioner Sue Parrigin said she had confidence in the members of the planning commission who voted to recommend the rezoning. Voting against the recommendation and thus saying they got it wrong is “impossible for me to do,” she said.
Beasley-Brown and Nash were the two no votes, while Parrigin, Joe Denning and Mayor Bruce Wilkerson voted yes on the rezoning.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners:
- approved a $1.5 million purchase for equipment for the fire department. Bowling Green Fire Department chief Jason Colson said the department is purchasing a firetruck and aerial truck from Findley Fire Equipment of McConnelsville, Ohio, for $1,531,517.62.
The equipment would replace aging trucks in the department’s fleet.
- approved a $438,530 bid from Wayne Supply Co. of Bowling Green for a vacuum truck for the city’s Public Works Department.
– Follow News Director Wes Swietek on Twitter @BGDNgovtbeat or visit bgdailynews.com.